Gary_Gough

Survival FUD, snake oil by any other name.

18 posts in this topic

"There are times when you need to take the bull by the tail and face the situation."

Just got 1/2 way through a "EMP threat video" one of those constant "You'll be amazed when we tell you what we're going to tell you after you watch us dance around any real information for an hour and then demand money once you've spent all this time getting hooked" shows. About the time they were conflating high school science projects with terrorist threats and implying anyone with a grudge and simple ( non-disclosed ) tools can launch a low level "EMP bomb" ( read medium yield nuke, like those are hardware store items ) I gave up on it. One good thing, I now know all the authors work is probably worthless at best and more likely an expensive scam. This brought to mind past scams... Y2K for instance. Lots of the same misdirection used. "computers all have clocks" true but... a CPU clock is the local oscillator that synchronizes and controls the movement of information through the processor. It's not something that holds the date. The small grain of truth goes back to the 1950s when 1024 bytes might be all the memory you had, so saving 2 bytes by only listing the last two digits of the year made sense. The practice hung around well past it's time, and started to show as a problem once 00 was coming up because the same lazy programming meant that people just checked if say 95 > 00 if so 00 came first. First showed in credit cards with an expire date of 2000, and was largely fixed by 1995. The only thing I heard of self destructing at 2000 was some VCRs and truth be known, lots of those also had timers to self destruct 2 months after the warranty. 

People just turned their brains off. Flashlights were getting Y2K compliant stickers ( hint.. if you can't set a date on the device it can not possibly matter what year it is as far as it's operation ) Consultants were paid huge sums to go put those stickers on. Office phone systems were replaced because the phones displays would show 00 after 99 ( another hint, if your staff thinks it's 1900 it's not a problem with the phones). After the year change the media and consultants spent a week congratulating themselves over having averted the on coming doom... of course the former Yugoslavia was too busy fighting each other to spend any time on Y2K prep. and oddly it wasn't a problem there either.

This was a small problem, poorly but sensationally reported by the major media, and then latched onto by con artists. Like the guy who sold the Eiffel tower after a news item mentioned a study into upkeep costs and raised the option of scrap, that news clipping lent credibility to his sales pitch. Also similar to the emails that someone with your last name died on the Concord and a bank in Nigeria is holding $31 million that a Barrister wants to split with you, praise god! You just have to send a processing fee to establish that you are the heir to the estate. 

Anyhow back to the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt ... grain of truth, a Carrington event would make a real mess of the power grid, as would a nuke in the right place. Where it falls apart.. this will not be permanent, techies will be working to fix things immediately and lots of stuff isn't going to fail. While a technically inclined child can build an EMP generator ( discharge a large cap through a coil using a spark gap ), at most that will kill the tracking tag in his pet dog. The amount of energy needed to damage electrical equipment in even a small area is huge, a lightning strike within 20 feet for instance. Local power generation can be made / fixed for critical applications in hours. The power grid may well be history in it's present form, but it needs to be rethought and updated anyhow.

Financial failure and systemically "too big to fail" banks. Really the only system that is totally dependent on the banks, is the banks and lawyers on their payroll. The sun will rise, plants grow and people will want to eat. If the banks vanish people wanting to trade will find ways to and probably ones that don't make a parasitic class wealthy. It's in the financiers interests to make people think that nothing can happen without them.

There are lots of real things to prep for, winter, floods, droughts, infections, teenagers, earthquakes.. and local prep is a sane idea for lots of reasons. For one thing you can spend your efforts solving larger problems if you don't need to scramble for your own immediate needs. My objection is to fear, and sometimes greed, being used to heard people into agreeing to give up money and rights.

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Great post thank you, it can be very hard to get people to realise that the human race survived very well, for a long time before modern capitalism stated to run our lives.

Norm.

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Great post thank you, it can be very hard to get people to realise that the human race survived very well, for a long time before modern capitalism stated to run our lives.

Norm.

Modern capitalism is to capitalism as martial music is to music. The tools may be the same but...  When traded items were valued in themselves then you could pool resources and create larger projects then the efforts of one man. The effort to make something like steel or gold could be traded for more effort laying bricks, growing crops, building factories, and the transactions were immediate even if you risked saved past effort in the hope of future good. ( maybe people don't need better wheels )' Risk and reward, real work, real products, all pretty straight forward stuff. Lending actual material out at interest risks losing it, so an interest rate is the reward for taking that risk. Creating money as a ledger entry, ( the repayment contract balancing the "loan" ) is where it changes into a system of voluntary slavery. The borrower risks both his original idea failing and still owing the lender. The idea that the money represented real work is carried over from the earlier system, but in fractional reserve banking the loan is extinguished by the repayment, with the only gain being the borrowers work in paying the interest.

Presently most companies make more buying and destroying other businesses then by actually creating real things. It's all based on the paper moving around, buy back your own shares and the stock prices rise ( smaller pool out there ) even if it means less development and maintenance of the productive part of the company. That can be gotten around by making a company that does nothing but take over existing companies, stripping the resources, firing everyone and moving on. ( we'll call those "management firms" )

I liked the way William Black explained "sub prime lending". "There are only so many people who can pay back a $1,000,000.00 loan, so you have a limited number of those loans you can make. But if you don't care if the loan will be repaid then you can lend an infinite amount and draw commissions on each one. The profits will be, not just high but off the charts."

The next step is to creatively bundle all those loans and sell them on to retirement funds or other institutional investors ( govt. ) and take commissions there too.

What could go wrong?

 

Hey Gary: 

Your post reminded me of this.. 

"It's cold here. That animal has evolved a warm coat. I'll have it off him!"  Douglas Adams.

 

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Nice read Gary!

Pretty dark Dan but I liked it.

Edited by Mike Ash
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On 12/3/2015 at 0:01 AM, Gary_Gough said:

There are lots of real things to prep for, winter, floods, droughts, infections, teenagers, earthquakes.. and local prep is a sane idea for lots of reasons. For one thing you can spend your efforts solving larger problems if you don't need to scramble for your own immediate needs. My objection is to fear, and sometimes greed, being used to heard people into agreeing to give up money and rights.

 There is no prepping for teenagers

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2 hours ago, Emerson said:

 There is no prepping for teenagers

But would a list of disasters be compete without? 9_9

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" Flashlights were getting Y2K compliant stickers  "

I remember this, what a load of nonsense. The saddest thing is the survival/prepping community is no longer a community, its an industry. The bulk of blogs focus on spreading fear and catch all solutions to make money- remember the Ebola "crisis"?

Step 1) Inform people about scary things happening abroad.

Step 2) Vaguely suggest those scary things will come in your neighbourhood because..Obama.

Step 3) Find solution which involves grandstanding and a long shopping list that will magically protect you.

When nothing bad happens, say its a conspiracy and start a new fear mongering campaign. Rinse and repeat.

 

I think I will hibernate here with you lot to protect my sanity from the deluge of "Top 5 disasters that will hit us in 2016 and what you can do to protect yourself!" posts. 

 

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If you spend a few years building something to the point that you start making money, you'll quickly attract people with well developed plans to take it away. You may notice your 3 steps closely match a whole range of internet scams too. "You have a virus!!! click here to remove." First off you may or may not have a virus but that popup had no way to scan for one ( and it takes more then a second to do so ) but if you click on it you've just said "go ahead and plant anything you want".

My 87 year old mother got scammed for a few hundred $ with those "You have a horrible virus on your computer" phone calls. I now make a point of wasting as much of their time as I can any time they call. So far 45 mins is my record but I haven't put much effort in. Was thinking of setting up a honey pot with Win 95 hooked through a 2400 baud modem to the net. Let them watch the screens load one pixel at a time. Maybe leave a few "client contact lists" with phone numbers to the FBI, RCMP, Interpol ... and maybe fake credit card numbers with valid checksums... prominently on the desktop. Pad them out to a few meg. and it will take them hours to download.

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This post was basically so good it needs its own category. And so I made that category. Moved this thread to the new "Debunking SHTF Myths" Subforum: http://survivalthreads.com/forum/35-debunking-shtf-myths/

Now, I'm sure this subforum won't get too many posts, but it's there now for anyone who thinks they can do what Gary managed to do in a single epic post, lol. I know I probably won't even attempt to debunk theories, but I'll certainly applaud those of you who can! :)

I wholeheartedly approve of your message, @Gary_Gough, as I'm sure that the vast majority of the people on this forum do. Lets take our down-to-earth strain of survival one step further and do our part in fighting fear mongering in this industry. I'm sure we'll piss off quite a few people (conspiracy theorists & fear profiteers?) doing it, but hey, if that's what it takes...

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Love those comments Gary-Gough. Thanks, got a good chuckle there.

On your comments about the $1,000,000 loans-

Many years ago, I went to my accountant worrying about one of my Businesse's overdrafts. ($25k) .

He said to me, "this is the reality, it's a $25k problem for you, If it was $1,000,000 it would be a problem for the bank.."

Put the whole issue in perspective, and had a good chuckle.:D

And No, I'm not advocating taking out a million dollar loan!

My Better Half was a Accountant and explained it like this, the debt to Me is a liability, to the Bank, it's a asset.:S

 

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Just grabbed a Youtube of Bill about 7 years ago, nothing seems to be any better now.

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Stay awake all night and watch cable TV some time, as a learning experience. It's good for a laugh, if nothing else.

If a blog post or an article or presentation sounds and feels like one of the interminable 'infomercials",you can now feel free to laugh at it and ignore it. ("BUT WAIT.. THERE'S MORE..  for only another 10 bucks plus shipping and handling the <insert name of survival tool / system/ food product/ political rant here> will not only slice and dice, it will shine your shoes, do your dishes and prevent cancer!" )

FUD (Fear  Uncertainty Doubt) is probably the oldest sales technique there is, and that's what it is - a sales technique. ("Those Neanderthals over the ridge are bigger and tougher than we are. Ogg appears to want to want to make friends with them, and maybe even show them how to light their own fires.  Gronk believes in Cro-Mag Power..  Who should you follow?" )

LOL - I DID 'prep' for the Y2K apocalypse (still waiting..)  - I set the system dates on my personal and company computers back a month on 31 DEC, and set them back the next morning.

Surprisingly, the real problem date was not 01 JAN 2000, but 09 SEP 1999.  The DoD (and many business) COBOL and Fortran legacy systems had been using 9/9/99 as "infinite future date" since the1970s. Nobody heard about that one , and it was often fixed on or about 9/7/99. 

You can't be fully-prepared for every possible eventuality. Prepare for the most likely ones first. That will at least get you a leg-up on the more obscure possibilities.  Lunch, a blanket and a BIC  lighter can get you out of quite a few jams.

BUT WAIT.. THERE'S MORE.. for only $500 (plus shipping and handling) I'll send you a genuine "Get Out Of Jail Free" card that will ensure you are completely safe in case of Zombie Apocalypse or invasion by Martian Tripods. Order today before it's too late !  :)

Edited by Wyzyrd
misspelling
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To quote an old Gary Larson cartoon "With my new "knife" you no longer need to wear those dead animals! Now you can just wear their hides!"

 

 

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Gotta love old Tom :)

For a surprise, one of the most beautiful voices in the world, Loreena McKennitt, did a version of the traditional "Greensleeves" in what she called in the album notes "the way Tom Waits would sing it"  (except she has a GREAT voice)

watch?v=LJ8uo8RDmqIhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ8uo8RDmqI

Hopefully, inserting that link worked..

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These guys have an interesting discussion on their second ( most recent ) podcast on "prudent to paranoid". worth a listen.  http://bluecircle.org/overthere/

USA centric of course ( you can't miss that ) but if you are outside USA you're sort of used to that.

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